Trade tensions worry California farmers


WASHINGTON, D.C. (NEXSTAR) — President Trump announced a new round of tariffs this week – this time aimed at Argentina and Brazil.

President Trump tweeted the countries have devalued their currencies, hurting Americans farmers. 

But Congressman Josh Harder, D-Calif., says it’s the tariffs themselves hurting farmers most. 

“Do they really want to reconcile with our trading partners, or do they want to continue to inflict needless pain on our families and farmers?” Rep. Harder said. 

Rep. Harder represents farming districts in California’s Central Valley.

He says tariffs reduce access to international markets and that hurts farmers.

“They’re on the front lines,” he explains. “We have to be able to sell our crops across the world.”

Congressman Ami Bera, D-Calif., shared Rep. Harder’s concern and he thinks the new tariffs are really about the U.S. relationship with China. 

“He ought to work with Congress on this so we’re not blindsided,” Rep. Bera said. “If he’s concerned about the Chinese buying soybeans and other products from other parts of the world, not the United States, he ought to go back and think about some of the actions he took. 

The conservative Heritage Foundation agrees, American farmers are hurting. 

Joel Griffith says there could be long-term effects, even after the trade war ends.

“Just because we resolve this trade dispute doesn’t mean China will come back to relying on our farmers for those imports,” he said.

It’s a warning that even is diplomatic relations recover, American farmers may not.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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